Why NM Legislators Should Vote for HB 55
Summary: The National Popular Vote interstate compact would guarantee the U.S. Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It would take effect once enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—enough to elect a President (270 of 538). So far, the compact has been enacted by 12 states possessing 172 electoral votes. It has passed at least one house in 11 additional states with 89 electoral votes.
History: National Popular Vote bills were introduced in New Mexico in 2009, 2017 and 2018. The New Mexico Senate passed the bill (SB42) in 2017 by a 26-16 margin. The House Government, Indian, and Veterans Affairs Committee approved the bill 5-4, but the House Local Government, Elections, Land Grants and Cultural Affairs Committee tied 3-3, defeating the bill.
Why This Bill Is Good for NM
- The shortcomings of the current system of electing the President stem from state laws that award all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate receiving the most votes.
- This bill ensures that every vote, in every state, will matter in every presidential election.
- By moving toward a national popular vote, we can begin the process of regaining voters’ trust in our elections and ensure their voices are equal to every voter across the country.
- Because of state winner-take-all statutes, five of our 45 Presidents came into office without winning the most popular votes nationwide; the 2000 and 2016 elections are most recent examples. Near-misses are also common: a shift of 59,393 votes in Ohio in 2004 would have elected John Kerry despite President Bush’s nationwide lead of over 3 million votes. The national popular vote winner would also have been defeated by a shift of 9,246 votes in 1976, a shift of 77,726 in 1968, a shift of 9,212 in 1960, and a shift of 20,360 in 1948.
- Currently, presidential candidates have no reason to pay attention to issues concerning voters in states where the outcome is a foregone conclusion. Two-thirds of the 2012 general-election campaign events (176 of 253) were in just 4 states (Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Iowa). Thirty-eight states were ignored completely.
- A 2008 survey of 800 NM voters showed 76% support for a national popular vote for President: 84% among Democrats, 64% among Republicans, and 68% among Independents.
- Common Cause New Mexico
- National Popular Vote New Mexico
- New Mexicans for Money Out of Politics